It’s kind of sad if you think about it. All the great fantasy series I picked up in my early teens are coming to a close, and some of the authors have died (and now Terry Goodkind has died, too).
The Riftwar Cycle, likewise, came to a close in 2013 and, although I’ve yet to read the last book, I’ve just finished the one before that.
This installment was just another reminder of why this series has always been pretty much my favorite. Though, like most of its contemporaries, it’s composed of thick volumes of well-described and gorgeous places, it doesn’t overdo the description and every single volume is packed with more action that books twice the size by other authors.
That doesn’t mean that character development is neglected. Quite the opposite: Feist’s characters are memorable indeed, and truly make the books. While they aren’t in the same league psychologically as GRRM’s or Nabokov’s, they are more than real enough to carry a fantasy adventure series.
I have already ordered the final volume, and will be saddened when I finish reading it… knowing Feist, it’s going to a be a blood-drenched, explosive finale.
My reflection here is… what is replacing these series? I’ve seen a lot of very different kind of thing out there, but very few of the doorstop fantasies that worked so well to bring–and keep–readers in the genre. I’m sure there’s a big market for traditional fantasy based on medieval Europe with magic and evil orcs. Yes, I know it’s a cliché, but sometimes things are cliché precisely because people love them. I know Sanderson and Farland have series out there… but not sure what else worth notice is available. I need to get up to date on Terry Brooks, too.
Anyhow, if you haven’t heard of Feists Riftwar books, you’re in for a treat. Grab magician and read. You can thank me when you’re done.
Gustavo Bondoni is a novelist and short story writer whose latest book, Test Site Horror, is about Russian special forces troops attempting to survive the escape of genetically modified dinosaurs. You can have a look here.